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Set Yourself Apart from Your Competitors

Monday, 2nd June 2014

How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? This is an important marketing and business question that most business owners find themselves answering on a semi-regular basis. If your business is based on craft or a skill that you love to do not only would you be answering this question based on marketing distinction but the business owners often ask this question from the point-of-view of improving their craft or skill.

The path of mastery is an ambitious journey and one that requires dedication. In

highwire

the book Talent Is Overrated, it is explained that scientific research suggests that the more time a person puts into their craft, the more likely he/she will achieve the top mastery level. The book also suggests that one of the biggest determining factors to help you soar in mastering your craft is how often and how well you engage in practice. Not just any practice, but a different method from the average person’s performance while practicing, compared to those who achieve mastery. For the artist and the businessperson, it is important to perform “deliberate practice.” In their heavily researched findings, deliberate practice looks a very specific way.

Before we get into what it looks like, lets first define it. Deliberate practice is a way to engage in an activity that creates growth in skills that you are not strong in. That means that the person practicing is engaged in the part or parts of their craft that they are weakest. They work on it and practice it until they achieve a high level of skill. An example of this in business would be to approach a customer for a sale of your product or service. A businessperson who wants to become top in their field, and if sales happens to be part of it, would ask for the sale, practicing over and over again until they figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Here are the five components, according to Talent is Overrated, that have to be included in deliberate practice:

  1. The task is designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacher or coach’s help
  2. Repeat the task often
  3. Feedback is given on the result in a consistent manner
  4. The activity is highly demanding mentally
  5. The actual doing of the practice isn’t much fun

If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors in the actual delivery of your craft, the only way to authentically achieve this, according to research, is through dedicating many hours practicing, using the right methods.

Going Against the Mastermind

Tuesday, 27th May 2014

wise owls

My entire mastermind group told me what I was about to do was a big mistake. Not quietly, but with adamant lectures about how I was throwing away everything that I had built up, and that if I continued down the path I had chosen, that all I would end up with at the end of it was a piece of paper and lots of wasted time and money.

I had recently been filed with divorce papers, and as I thought about that experience and what I wanted to create in the future, I declared to myself that I wasn’t going to settle in the romantic relationship department. As I looked around at the men in my life, the thought occurred to me that I might be single for a while. The next thought immediately popped into my head, “Then I am going back for my MFA in Writing.” A few hours later I started the application process.

I had wanted to get an MFA in Writing for years. It was one of my dreams, so I was completely surprised at the reaction of my mastermind group. They told me that I was selling myself short. My business was about ready to take off in a big way, and this decision was a way for me to sabotage or to hide from success.

Their reaction caused me to pause and to think. What determines sabotage? What defines following one’s dreams? What is the action of hiding versus an act of following one’s passion? Could it just be a matter of perception? How does one determine if a sacrifice is worth it?

I mumbled to my mastermind group that I was going to be a single mother now and needed a steadier job. I also needed health insurance. There just so happened to be the dean of a university in my mastermind group, and he shook his head. “You make more now and you know it. You will never be able to make as much as a teacher as you would doing coaching. If you do this you are leaving a lot of money on the table.” He let that settle before he added, “Do you have any idea how much time a master’s requires? I see so many people work around the clock, and what they end up with in the end is a piece of paper. You don’t need that paper. You could teach at colleges right now, unless you want to become a professor.”

The sad truth was that he was right. The group was right. So what did I decide to do? I am now currently in the MFA for Writing program. Why? Because it is my dream. When it boiled down to it, one question helped me to decide on whether to continue to work for the MFA or to build my business. The question wasn’t how much money I’d make because coaching fulltime would be a better choice money-wise. It wasn’t about spending the past years building a business and if I walked away how much time I would I lose. No, instead, the question that cleared my head was: When I die will it matter to me if I made it as an extremely successful business person? The answer was “No.” Then the next question: Would I regret not learning as much as I could about the craft of writing and giving that love of my mine one more chance? “YES!”

Bottom line, there are a lot of ways to look at your big decisions and where you are going in your life. If you want to make the right decisions for you, it is time to get really honest and to sort through what you value most and go for it!

How can an Entrepreneur Gain a Competitive Advantage and Effective Leadership in the Market

Wednesday, 26th December 2012
    Entrepreneurship: How do I go from being an idea/vision guy to an idea and execution guy?

The best way to go from an idea guy to execution is to implement some system where you are holding yourself accountable in getting things done. Make it so that you will do things because you don’t like the consequence if you don’t.

    Entrepreneurship: Is being a ”people person” a prerequisite for entrepreneurship?

The important thing to be successful in any field is to be determined. Steve Job was extremely successful in the tech field and he certainly wasn’t a people person at all but he was a driven person. The simple truth is we all have strengths and weakness and those aren’t excuses to not get what you want. If you can’t do something one way look for a solution or a way around it. There are always answers if you are determined enough.

    Entrepreneurship: Why do people NOT take action to start a business, even though they consciously want to?

Most often the reason don’t take the steps they want is they are too focus on the fear of the steps they are about to take. Many people are slow to start a business because they think about all the things that they will need to do, all the things they want to figure out before jumping in action then they get overwhelmed and freeze. What needs to be done is to take the first smallest step– do it. Then figure out what the next step is and take that one. The truth is you will never come up with what will actually happen and you will never find the answers either without taking the first smallest step first then the next.

Stop Sabotaging Yourself in Your Career

Tuesday, 4th December 2012

When was the last time you felt completely drained, like you did not belong in your job? Ever ask what you were doing at the job in the first place? What if I told you it was possible to do the work you choose, and you don’t have to have that awful, overwhelming feeling again?

One of my clients in 2009 was a cute Asian girl with short, trendy hair, a black business suit, and large, sad, brown eyes. As we began to work together, I discovered a beautiful, radiant artist’s soul. She arrived in Utah from a cosmopolitan area with a history of miserable jobs in sales and a passion for the big city. Not long after moving to the middle of the Rockies, she wondered why she suffered from so many headaches, bouts of the flu and colds, and felt absolutely drained most of the time.


She quickly discovered that the job she found in Utah was not giving her enough money to meet her bills. She’d found work in what she thought was perfect for her—a young, progressive company with lots of opportunities. But it did not take long before she felt completely disconnected. The stress of being miserable at the job began to affect her health. On came the headaches and the flu. She called in sick more and more. Since her jobs were based on performance, her ability to financially put her student husband through school was seriously compromised. Eventually, after months of this high stress, her long-suffering and patient husband gave a “we can’t continue like this” talk.

Desperate, and knowing she had her living, health, and marriage on the line, she tearfully asked me what the problem was. Why was she so miserable with a job she thought she would be good at? How could she get herself into a better place? I immediately prescribed a value assessment to determine her top three to five values.

Upon taking the test, it became clear that what she was missing was not honoring one or more of her values in each of her duties. After looking at her list of values, she said, “Now I understand why I’m so miserable.” She started asking herself questions like: “If I value aesthetics so much, why am I not pursuing a career that includes them?” and, “How can I bring more of my values into my current job until I am at the right spot to change jobs?”
Over the next couple of weeks, she thought about her top values and whether her work honored them. She came to a deep understanding what that really meant to her. As a result, major shifts followed in her job, housing situation, and health.

Those few critical questions set her on a completely different path. Since then she has chosen the industry she wants to be in, has gotten training to prepare her for that path, and has made huge shifts in what she looks for in jobs that help her get by until she qualifies for the one she wants to land eventually. She’s not sick as often, and her husband has time to focus on his studies. Best of all, when she thinks about her career, she is on fire with the passion that makes her ready to take on the future.

What are your top three values? Are you honoring them in every area of your life? If not, Step It Up and Be on Fire completely, by living within your values.

How Introverts can Build Self Confidence

Wednesday, 14th November 2012

Can an introvert be a successful entrepreneur, and eventually, a successful leader?

Of course it is possible to be an introvert and a successful entrepreneur. There are many many many successful entrepreneurs that are introverts. An extremely well known successful introvert entrepreneur that I know personally is Jack Canfield. I have talked to him about how he still is very much an introvert and how he sets up his life to honor that.

On your journey you will not change into an extrovert. Introverts and extroverts is based mainly on where you get your energy from. Introverts need time with themselves and extroverts need people. I am an introvert myself and when I used to be asked to speak I would get extremely sick to my stomach. Now that I have given hundreds and hundreds of speeches it is not as hard to get up in front of people although I still feel nervous. The more you do something the more easy it becomes. I used to hate networking meetings now people don’t believe that I am introverted. There is this thing called, “situational extroverted.” The more I do things the more I became comfortable with it. The same principle will work for you.

What I have learned as I honor my introvert nature is if I go do something extroverted like networking or speaking I schedule downtime afterwards. I know that I need time to process and to get grounded in myself. If I don’t honor that part of me, I lose my ability to be grounded and to feel at peace.

Building Self Confidence: Why Become An Entrepreneur? #22

Wednesday, 14th November 2012

Welcome to Biz on Your Own Terms! Today we will talk about the things you have to consider before you step into the entrepreneurial world.

There are simply too many entrepreneurs. Too many people trying to create their own jobs, be their own boss. Too many people are trying to live life on their own terms. Why are they doing this? Don’t they know that being your own boss, being able to work when you choose, and pursuing your dreams comes with a terrible cost?

Once you are an entrepreneur, this requires a huge amount of efforts, money, time and investments. So if you started your own business so that you will have more time to play or go on vacation or be with your family, then you might want to think again. Building a business at the beginning, and I don’t care what kind of business, will take work and lots of it if the business is a legal one. It could also mean time being spent away away from playing, family, and anything else that you can think of that you would rather be doing.

Furthermore, if you think you still want to be an entrepreneur because you love to deliver services, don’t fool yourself. If you think that having your business means that all you have to do is set up a website and customers will come, and that you will spend all day doing the work that you love, think again. Most find when running their business they spend most of their time doing everything except what they want to do.

Think about these things and then, decide. It is all up to you! Until next time on Biz on Your Own Terms TV!

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Overcoming Betrayals and Challenges in Business

Wednesday, 7th November 2012

Before I joined the forces of being a person in business, I hated business. I thought it was boring, and driven by the pursuit of money, numbers, and sales. I believed it was for the technical guys and gals who could crunch numbers, make sense of the stock market, and wear uncomfortable black suits.

I was an artist. Well, at least trying to be one, and my brain was not built to understand the world of business. I happily dove into the world of writing. After three years of incredibly hard work, I landed my first book contract. I stumbled on my way until, by book three, my publishers were talking to me about the importance of promotion, marketing, and selling more if I wanted to continue publishing with them.

The realization that I would not be around as an author if I did not “step it up” and sell more was a nasty pill to swallow. But I swallowed and banged around into the world of sales, marketing, and business.

That world became tricky, and the more I learned, the more I danced in it, the more I forgot about writing. (What a sneaky environment!) The money I could make doing business far overshadowed the royalty checks off book sales.

I all but forgot the harsh world of books that caused so many struggles, and focused passionately on building my business and counted on that paying well. I’d probably still be on that path if I had not been stricken with a host of health problems that landed me in the hospital and rendered me unable to stay conscious.

As I struggled to get back on my feet, I searched for something to help heal me, something that I loved, something that calmed me. I dove back into reading literature. As I read, I rediscovered my true love. I realized that I have always loved reading a good book that transported me to another world. When I read, I feel authentically me.

I wondered why I had so neglected my love? Why was I doing so much business that my health was crumbling under the burden of stress? As I read, a message from one of the books :cleared things up: Literature never disappointed me. I thought about all the disappointments that came from the book world—the rejections, lack of sales, small payments, and frustrating plots. All the disappointments came from trying to publish—not from literature itself.


Perhaps in some ways you are like me—you had something you enjoyed doing in your life –golf, basketball, painting, woodwork, etc., and you abandoned it or did less of it because … well, lots of reasons.

When I looked at my life head on, I realized that literature did not abandon me, but I put myself into the business part of the literature out of fear. I cut off the part that I’d loved so much and did the business part until it swallowed me up. I did this even though the business gave me headaches. I valiantly plowed through, feeling like that was what needed to be done. I had become swept up in the race and did not know it because my ego was at play.

It was my ego that wanted the gold sticker that said I was successful. It was ego that listened to the publishers and pushed so hard for the sales. It was ego that took something so beautiful and made it about image, which in truth does not matter so much. My being consumed with “business” had betrayed me from keeping my real love alive.

Success Coaching for Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, 5th June 2012

I was leading a group of ambitious and hungry entrepreneurs who were seeking to make huge progress in their businesses. They were sick of all the stuff that kept getting in their way and stopping them, whether it was themselves, others, or the lack of time.

Announcing to the World What you are Going to Do

They were in one of my 90-day Rapid Results Mastermind groups, where we were digging deep and were going to blast through all that resistance. The group had come together and gotten clear on what they wanted to accomplish. They had each already announced their objectives to the group and explained why accomplishing these particular goals would have such a dramatic impact on their business. They were ready to rock.

Then I asked them how much they really wanted what they had announced to the group. Everyone empathically stated that they really wanted to accomplish what they had said.

Are you Determined to be Successful?

“What are the things that you are willing to establish to make sure that you get it done?”

I am familiar with the individuals that’s why I asked this question of the Mastermind group. I have witnessed them grow and have seen how determined they are in achieving their goals. Unavoidably, things started to block their way to accomplishing their objectives, and they could no longer do those things that they said they would do.

We strolled around the room and added consequences if they didn’t get what they had assured done. For one person that meant she will be giving out money to the opposite political party rather than the one she favors if she didn’t achieve her objective. The very idea of giving out monetary support to the opposite team made her mad since she was an advocate of politics.Another one of them would have to give money to a previous business partner that he had strong feelings against. Another was going to give money to his rivalry. And another was going to run a half marathon. In essence they were blackmailing themselves if they failed to do what they said they would do.

Do You Trust What You Say?

Everyone’s face seemed to worry when asked if they trust what they say.. And so I asked again..”What are you anxious about? Do you have doubts that you are going to do what you said?”

“How serious do you take commitments to yourself and to your business?” We’d found a great way to test their commitment.

Everyone agreed to the conditions. We felt how dedicated these people were to getting their goals done, and it was incredible! Towards the end of the ninety-day period, one person shared, “Wow, if I would have paid this kind of interest to my goals during the Christmas season, I bet I would have made a lot of money more than I made.”

The Fruit of Determination

Funny but amazing, everybody accomplished their goals. At the day of reckoning, a great number of people in the group had huge bags under their eyes, which they said came from staying up late at night to meet their goals, but no one failed and took the walk of shame, which was awesome!

If you feel that you are having difficulty on getting things done and you struggle in your business, and you suspect that it is because you let little things get in your way, you might try blackmailing yourself for business success.